Aboriginal terraformations

Johansson, Ola, Newall, Amanda, Saario, Antti and Pritchard, Stephen (2008) Aboriginal terraformations. [Film/Video]

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An interdisciplinary HD video collaboration with Ola Johansson (Middlesex University, UK, at the time Lancaster University), Amanda Newall (Royal Swedish Academy of Arts, Stockholm, SE), Stephen Pritchard (Monash University Melbourne, AU) and Antti Sakari Saario (Falmouth University).

Originally shown with a costume installation as part of the Designing Safe Living conference, Lancaster University UK 2008, the work was also exhibited at the New Zealand Film Archive 2009, SCANZ exhibition, curated by Mercedes Vincente (NZ) and Sarah Cook (UK), Govett Brewster Art Gallery, NZ, 2009.www.govettbrewster.com. The work was supported by: NZ Film archive and Lancaster University.

Aboriginal Terraformations (2008) is based on interdisciplinary explorations of mapping, perspectives and reterritorialisation of pre-colonial rural landscape within a post-colonial conceptual and aesthetic framework. The cultural, visual and sonic mapping of the dynamics governing the Australian outback and English rural countryside in the age of global citizenship manifests in the depiction of, and is informed by: tribal awareness in media and theatre; electronic songlines, GPS mapping, and the ritualistic physicality of Beckett's minimalist choreography of Quad, along with critical commentaries as narrative and costume design. The named artists and researchers completed the work in technical cooperation with media professionals in the UK and Sweden.

The work grew out of the existing interests and praxis of the named researchers and artists, effectively mapping out, extending and bringing together a unique set of research practices from a wide source of subject disciplines, thus investigating uncharted terrain in terms of process and method(ologies). It was in part a response to the theme of the international conference “New Sciences of Protection: Designing Safe Living” at Lancaster University, where the presentation of the work was accompanied by an academic paper presentation.

Synopsis: Two figures from entirely different walks of life crawl out of their cultural cocoons only to find themselves in a terra incognita that they must hasten to choreograph in order to continue avoiding each other. One of them has been there for tens of thousands of years, the other one just arrived, and yet it is as though the first one is forgetting his ways while the second is finding his feet across the territory. One figure’s mask shows exactly how history creeps into the wrinkled face of the present, whereas the other one’s mask is posing one tacit question after another. Time eventually grinds to a halt as audible value statements overshoot the scene and the choreography transfigures into down-to-earth gestures and portrayals with the gravity of a past chain of command. The only way out of the stagnation is to reactivate the non-intercultural drill to the point where old paths through the desert are wholly erased. What one of them does not know about the other one though is that he is not one but two: one for the show and one for the future.

Item Type: Film/Video
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts
Item ID: 10805
Depositing User: Ola Johansson
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2013 06:48
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2019 11:51
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/10805

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